Cardinals snap losing streak with a shutout of the Eagles
NEWTON — Aggressive and attacking play up front pushed Newton Senior High School’s Cardinals to a 4-0 first-half lead over the visiting Pella Christian’s Eagles Tuesday.
Freshman Josh Ventling recorded a hat trick — three goals in a game — with the only second-half score. The Cardinals broke a three-game losing skid, beating the Eagles 5-0 at H.A. Lynn Stadium.
“The guys came out and really pushed the ball and attacked to score goals in the early phase of the game,” said Sackda Viravong, Cardinal head coach. “To get our first conference win is a good start after losing three straight games.”
A flurry of four goals in a 10-minute span by the Cards had the Eagles on their heels most of the contest. Ventling opened up the onslaught against the Eagle defenders and goalkeeper Josh Fopma with a goal less than two minutes gone in the game.
Four minutes later, senior Nathan Moorman found the net then junior Mike McCormick went high in the air in front of the goal and headed the ball into the net for the third goal with 31:08 showing on the clock.
The Cardinals hadn’t scored a goal since their season opener on April 5. Ventling broke away from the pack, got out ahead and took the ball all the way to the net at the 28:11 mark of the first half.
“We moved Josh from the center midfielder spot to an outside forward. Mike McCormick is on the other side and Chandler (Sturtz) is doing a really good job of controlling things for us from the center midfielder position,” Viravong said.
Pella Christian did mount a couple of scoring attacks after falling behind 4-0, but Newton’s defense turned the Eagles away. Griffin Engel, sophomore goalkeeper, recorded five saves in the game for Newton.
Ventling added the other goal in the second half. Senior Chandler Sturtz was credited with two goal assists while Ventling and Moorman each had one assist. Newton made 16 shots on goal.
With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 2-3 overall. They evened their Little Hawkeye Conference mark at 1-1. Pella Christian dropped to 1-3 on the season and 0-2 in conference play.
“It was good to see us be more aggressive but we didn’t sustain that level throughout the game,” Viravong said. “We were able to play everyone, which was good so our younger players got some varsity experience.”
Viravong said the Cardinals still needed to work on maintaining possession of the ball and being patient.
In a junior varsity contest, Newton beat Pella Christian 3-0 after scoring two quick goals the first half. Newton’s freshmen lost 7-0 to Ames High’s freshmen on Tuesday.
Newton travels to Boone Friday in non-conference action. Pella Christian hosts North Polk in non-conference play Thursday.